LOUISVILLE, KY – Lloyd Madison Farms homebred Sconsin rushed past the tiring favorites in mid-stretch before drawing off in the stretch to score in Friday’s $300,000 Eight Belles Stakes Presented by Smithfield (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 5 under James Graham as the 7/1 third shot, Scosin sat at the rear of the five-horse field early, riding two-wide outside of Never Forget down the backstretch.
Up front, the even-money second choice Mundaye Call dueled heads apart inside of the 4/5 favorite Four Graces through opening fractions of :22.11 and :44.14.
The two front-runners straightened for home still heads apart, but Sconsin kicked into high gear at the top of the stretch and soon swept past them to take the lead.
Drawing off late, the Greg Foley trainee crossed 2 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:21.30 for the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint.
“She ran huge,” Graham said. “She likes this race track, evidently. They ran fast in front of her and she picked them off. Can’t ask for any more than that. The two favorites are speed horses, so all you can hope is that they hook up and kill each other off. My filly was just happier today. Those two had pace pressure and we just finished them off.”
Four Graces held onto second by 1 3/4 lengths over Never Forget. Mundaye Call weakened to fourth, outkicking only Extra Effort to complete the order of finish.
Purrfectly Claire and Perfect Happiness were scratched.
Sconsin’s win was her first at the stakes level and improved her overall record to 8-3-2-1 with $301,512 earned. The 3-year-old Include filly was previously second in the Beaumont Stakes (G2) and third in the Audubon Oaks behind the top two betting choices in this race.
“When this race came up on paper, we sort of thought the pace scenario could work in our favor,” Foley said. “She got a great ride by James and cruised home. It’s very exciting winning with a filly like this, on such a big stage as the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Hopefully, we can do it again tomorrow with Major Fed in the Derby.”
Sconsin returned $16.40 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Four Graces brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Never Forget paid $3.80 to show.